CLACTON’S MP has demanded that the town’s driving test centre should be reopened.

Giles Watling wrote to the Driving Standards Agency to ascertain the cause of the delay in reopening the centre, which was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The DSA responded that with the centre being closed for 15 weeks they need to ensure that the necessary health and safety, water and landlord checks have been completed prior to reopening.

Mr Watling has now replied and asked for reassurance that these checks would be carried out in a timely manner.

Mr Watling said: “I fully appreciate that the driving test centre needs to ensure it is compliant with all the necessary tests prior to reopening however I feel this should be done in a timely manner.

“Other centres up and down the country have reopened and I feel that the Clacton centre should be no different.

“If this site is no longer suitable for whatever reason, then I will look to source alternative premises.

“As such I have written to the chief executive of Tendring Council to ascertain if there are suitable alternative premises should they be necessary.

“This is an issue for instructors, examiners and learners alike and my postbag is beginning to reflect people's frustrations.

“My preferred option is to utilise the existing site but should that not be possible then an alternative needs to located.”

Last week the chairman of a driving instructors’ group slammed the DSA for failing to reopen the centre in Clacton when others in Ipswich and Chelmsford were, claiming it was not fair on learners.

Susan Whiteley, 70, runs Clacton Automatics and is the chairman of the Clacton and District Driving Instructors’ Association.

She says it is inexcusable to expect students to fork out on travelling to Ipswich or Chelmsford to take a test.

“It is grossly unfair that one of my pupils may now have to wait until next year before she can do a test in her own town,” she said.